Netflix has released the first trailer for the upcoming original film The Half of It, and this looks like a teen love story that you won’t want to miss. The story follows a bookish high school student named Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) who makes money on the side ghostwriting papers for her fellow students so she can help her single father pay the bills. But when a jock (Daniel Diemer) hires her to write letters to a girl he likes named Aster (Alexxis Lemire), Ellie finds she’s now also kind of falling for Aster as well.
The story is clearly inspired by the classic Cyrano de Bergerac, but writer/director Alice Wu has put a modern, LGBTQ+ twist on that timeless tale. On top of that—and I cannot stress this enough—this looks like a real movie. So many YA films these days seem to be lazily crafted, as if kids won’t care whether the shot is composed in an engaging way or if the camera is moving with motivation. Granted this is just a trailer, but The Half of It looks purposefully made, and that’s incredibly heartening. This looks like a film that skirts tropes in favor of more realistic scenarios, offering up characters who may seem like stereotypes on the surface, but are more complexly drawn in practice. In short, it looks great, and I’m now really looking forward to seeing it.
Check out The Half of It trailer below. The film also stars Enrique Murciano, Wolfgang Novogratz, Catherine Curtin, Becky Ann Baker, and Collin Chou. The Half of It will be released on Netflix on May 1st.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Half of It:
Bookish introvert Ellie Chu is perfectly content with her life: watching old movies with her widowed father and ghostwriting papers for her high school classmates to help pay the bills. But her side gig turns personal when lovelorn jock Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) hires her to craft love notes to Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire) — a smart, popular girl out of both their leagues… and Ellie’s own secret crush. Just as the duo’s plan begins to work, a new wrinkle emerges: Ellie and Paul have fallen into a deep friendship neither could have anticipated, giving rise to a surprising love triangle. Written and directed by Alice Wu, THE HALF OF IT is a heartfelt comedy-of-errors about searching for perfect love—and finding yourself in the process.